• from FB - The Comanches- Lords of the Plains Part 4: Quanah Parker

    From a425couple@21:1/5 to All on Wed Oct 21 06:36:10 2020
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    The Comanches- Lords of the Plains Part 4: Quanah Parker

    After the Ford Parker raid, the Comanches rode north as fast as they
    could go with their five captives. The Indians pushed hard for 12 hours
    with just a few breaks; they probably covered over 60 miles and were
    just south of present day Fort Worth well beyond the last white
    settlements. When the Comanches stopped for the night, they picketed
    their horses, made a fire, then began a victory dance that reenacted the
    events of the day, displaying the bloody scalps of their victims. The
    dance included striking the captives with their bows and kicking them.
    Rachel Plummer and Elizabeth Kellogg were stripped with their hand and
    ankles tied with thongs. They were thrown face down on the ground and
    beat over the head with bows. Cynthia Ann and John were also kicked,
    stamped, and clubbed, as was 14 month old James Plummer. The two adult
    women were raped repeatedly in full view of the children. The next day
    the Comanches and their captives headed north pushing at the same brutal
    For the next five days the Comanches pressed hard passing Cross Timbers,
    a forty mile patch of woods west of modern Dallas. On the sixth day the Comanches divided their captives. Elizabeth Kellogg was traded to a band
    of Kichai Indians, a sedentary tribe from north central Texas that
    raised crops and were somewhat vassals to the Comanches. Cynthia Ann and
    John went with a band of Nokonis Comanches. Rachel and her son James
    went with another band of Comanches, but they took her son from her and
    she never saw him again. The Parker relatives who survived tried to find
    the captives off and on till 1844. Rachel Plummer and Elizabeth Kellogg
    were eventually ransomed and Rachel wrote in detail of her ordeal. James
    was also recovered, but not much is known of his life. He was married
    twice, fathered four children and died in 1862 as a member of the
    Conferderate Army. John Parker was eventually returned to his mother
    Lucy. Later in life some say he served in the Civil War with the Texas
    rifles, others say he returned to live with the Comanches, but was
    abandoned when he came down with smallpox. John was nursed back back to
    health by a Mexican woman who had also been a captive. Supposedly, he
    became a rancher in Mexico and died in 1915. Perhaps another legend of
    the west?
    At some point Cynthia Ann Parker began living with the Penatekas
    Comanches; Cynthia Ann had no choice but to adapt to Comanche life and
    it was a hard life. The women did all the brutally hard work from dawn
    to dark, including moving the camp. As a teenager Cynthia became the
    wife of Peta Nocona, a rising young chief. Early in her marriage she
    gave birth to Quanah (meaning fragrant in Comanche.) The infant looked
    just like a full-blooded Comanche, except that his eyes were blue gray
    instead of black. As Quanah grew into a strong, tall boy, Cynthia and
    bore another son Pecos, and a daughter Prairie Flower. Quanah, like all Comanche children, grew up on horseback. He learned to ride with his
    mother almost as soon as he could walk, and by the time he was five he
    had a pony of his own and was practicing with a small bow and blunt
    arrows as he rode at increasing speeds. Quanah learned that Comanche men
    hunted to live, but lived to win honors and booty in war. Quanah
    probably went on his first raid at the age of 15. The success of the
    raids was practically a foregone conclusion, in part because the Texas
    frontier was too extended to defend at all points. The Comanche raiders
    never neglected to plan for their retreat. If their target was of any appreciable distance, they traveled with a change of horses. The
    warriors set up a temporary camp not far from the intended point of
    attack, and would leave their spare horses there before swooping in for
    the kill. The warriors would then return to the temporary camp,
    carefully traveling over rocky areas and through streambeds to conceal
    their tracks. Mounted on fresh horses they would ride as much as 100
    miles without stopping for food and rest. Their pursuers stood only a
    slim chance of catching them.
    As Quanah was growing up two things happened that would impact his
    people greatly. First, the Texas Ranger were formed, and they began to
    patrol constantly to intercept raiding parties and probe deep into
    Comanche territory to strike vulnerable camps.Then in 1849, as
    prospectors poured through Comanche territory on the way to the
    California gold fields, the Comanches were struck by a cholera epidemic.
    The Kiowas and Comanches suffered heavy casualties and the Penatekas
    lost half their population. Most of the Comanche bands were able to hold
    out all through the 1850's although the Texas Rangers along with the
    U.S. Cavalry began to exact a steady toll by surprise attacks. On a
    winter day in December of 1860 disaster fell upon Quanah's band. The
    Comanches were camped along the Pease River when forty Texas Rangers and
    21 U.S. cavalrymen under the command of ranger Sul Ross suddenly struck, killing a number of Indians and taking several captives, One of these
    captives turned out to be Cynthia Ann Parker. Quanah's reaction to the recapture of his mother can only be guessed at in light of his
    persistent later efforts to learn of her fate. Quanah was bound to be
    shaken by the sudden loss of a parent and almost certainly this loss
    added an urge for vengeance to his hatred for the whites.
    Quanah suffered other losses in quick succession. His father died
    reportedly of an infection (although S.C. Gwynne writes in "Empire of
    the Summer Moon" that Peta Nocona was killed in the Pease River attack)
    and to make matters worse his brother Pecos then died of disease. With
    no one left to hold him in his family's band, Quanah joined the powerful Kwahadies, a band that lived on the edge the Staked Plains in the west
    of Texas, a timberless tableland bordered by steep escarpments. Quanah
    was probably attracted to the Kwahdadies by their reputations persistent
    and skillful raiders. (to be continued- Part 5: Quanah Parker: " Tell
    the White Chiefs the Kwahadies Are Warriors.")
    Sources: "Empire of the Summer Moon" by S.C.Gwynne and "The Great
    Chiefs" Time Life Books, text by Benjamin Capps.
    Photos: Quanah Parker and Cynthia Ann Parker. (Google images)

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